Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 12 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.
In some cases, many couples often blame themselves for having a miscarriage. But there is nothing she has done to cause it, and no one could do anything to avoid it. Some woman who had an early miscarriage might not even realize whether she was pregnant but just assumes her period was late when she had extra menstrual flow.
Symptoms of early pregnancy loss
Most of the common symptoms of miscarriage are a pain in the abdomen and bleeding. However, vaginal spotting or light bleeding during the early days of pregnancy does not always mean miscarriage. Though it happens, check for other unusual symptoms.
Here are other common signs that show you may be having a miscarriage. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure to call the doctor.
- Mild to severe back pain (worse than menstrual cramps).
- White-pink mucus discharge from the vagina.
- Contractions (painful, happening every 5 to 20 minutes).
- Tissue that looks like blood clots passing from the vagina.
- Fewer signs of pregnancy
- Weight loss
Risk factors for a miscarriage
Various factors increase the risk of miscarriage, such as –
- Age. Women over age 35 and more are at a higher risk of miscarriage than young women.
- Previous miscarriages. Women who have had three or more miscarriages are at increased risk of miscarriage.
- Chronic health condition. Women who have medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid are at risk of miscarriage.
- Uterine or cervical problems. Women who have weak cervical tissues or certain uterine conditions might be at the risk of miscarriage.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption. Women who smoke and drink alcohol during pregnancy are at higher risk of miscarriage.
- Weight. Women who are overweight or underweight are at increased risk of miscarriage.
Causes of Miscarriage
50% of the miscarriages in the first trimester are due to chromosome abnormalities in the fetus- which might be hereditary or spontaneous – in the parent’s sperm or egg. Chromosomes are the structures within the cells that carry a person’s genes. The genes code for different traits and characteristics, such as sex, hair, eye color, and body type.
Most chromosomal abnormalities occur by chance and are not linked with a parent’s health. Miscarriages also occur by various unknown and known factors, such as:
- High levels of radiation or toxic agents
- Hormonal imbalance
- Improper implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterine lining
- Disorders of the immune system
- Severe kidney problems
- Severe malnutrition
- Group B beta strep
Your doctor will perform an ultrasound test to confirm the miscarriage. No treatment is required if the miscarriage is complete and the uterus is clear. Sometimes, the uterus may not be completely emptied. In this case, a dilation and curettage or dilation and extraction procedure are required. These procedures involve the dilation of the cervix and gently removing any remaining fetal or placental tissue from the uterus. And, you will have your next period within 4 to 6 weeks.